Farmers with Cows or Ranchers who Farm

Would we be farmers with cows or ranchers who farm?

Cattle have always fit really well here with our family. So well that we’ve had more cattle than we’ve had grass. Rather than haul for grass we’ve “doubled cropped” our tillable acres.

During breeding season, we stock our grass pastures and a couple semi dry lot pens pretty heavy. Then we pull pairs home 30 days after our 45 day breeding period. Typically our pastures are grazed less than 90 days a year.

The pairs come home to wean, the calves go in the feedlot and the bred mamas go to graze a fall pasture until the river freezes. Once it gets cold we start moving the cows home through a couple sections of crop land.

They graze the plant material the combine left until the snow buries it too deep to dig. They’ll peruse all the crops we grow: soybeans, pinto beans, oats, and they especially love the corn stalks. Material that would have otherwise decomposed and been reincorporated with the soil as organic matter. The cows are able to utilize it instead to grow beef while fertilizing the field with their manure. Win, win!

So what do you think — farmers with cows or ranchers who farm? Tell us your thoughts in the comments 👇🏼

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